MakerBot unveiled their new desktop 3-D printer: Replicator 2.

The new model is 37% bigger than MakerBot’s original. It prints with a far greater accuracy, too, at 100 microns per inch (one micron is about as thick as a piece of paper).

That means users will be able to print larger, faster, and more precisely than ever before.

It’s also more durable than the original wooden Replicator, with a strong PVC and steel frame.

Pettis passed around objects printed on the new Replicator, like this toy, to demonstrate the smoothness of the material.

This contraption, for example, has dozens of moving parts, all of which whirred smoothly in our hands.

For more advanced users, MakerBot will introduce a dual-extrusion version called the Replicator 2X next year.

The 2X is targeted for more sophisticated users--"the hot-rod to the Replicator 2's Honda," said Pettis.

Both machines are sleek, black, and framed with neon purple LEDs, in stark contrast to the DIY look of the first Replicator.

Pettis also unveiled a new software, MakerWare, MakerWare, which looks about as easy to use as Google SketchUp.

The Replicator 2 is available today, over on MakerBot’s online store, while the 2X will arrive in early 2013.

MakerBot Unveils Next-Gen 3D Printer, And First Retail Store

Brooklyn mayor Marty Markowitz was on hand to introduce the borough’s favorite tech darlings.

Yesterday in downtown Brooklyn, MakerBot unveiled the second generation of its popular desktop 3-D printer: the Replicator 2. Speaking in a bistro next to the MakerBot offices, CEO Bre Pettis was charmingly excited to rip away the black fabric covering the revamped machine. “First of all, it’s just a beautiful desktop 3-D printer,” he said.

The Replicator 2 is poised to make desktop 3-D printing a far more ubiquitous technology. The new model is 37% bigger than MakerBot’s original, and prints with a far greater accuracy—100 microns per inch, to be exact (one micron is about as thick as a piece of paper). That means users will be able to print larger, faster, and more precisely than ever before. It’s also more durable than the original wooden Replicator, with a strong PVC and steel frame.

For more advanced users, MakerBot will introduce a dual-extrusion version called the Replicator 2X next year. The 2X is targeted for more sophisticated users—"the hot-rod to the Replicator 2's Honda," said Pettis. Both machines are sleek, black, and framed with neon purple LEDs, in stark contrast to the DIY look of the first Replicator. At $2,199 and $2,799, these two new models are about $400 more than the original. But Pettis says the new price point illustrates the changing status of the 3-D printer, which is being used by many more professionals—e.g., "prosumers"—these days. This is MakerBot, all grown up.

Pettis also unveiled a new software, MakerWare, which is arguably more important than the Replicator 2. Why? MakerWare, which looks about as easy to use as Google SketchUp, will make printing easier for people who aren’t familiar with digital modeling and fabrication. In a demonstration, Pettis dragged and dropped a few forms into the model space, happily pointing out that to print them, “you just click the ‘M’ button.”

MakerBot’s first physical retail store—across the bridge, in NoHo—also opened its doors today. There, 3-D printing enthusiasts can hang out, try the new Replicator, and pick up some printed swag. “You know that person who has everything?,” asked Pettis, “they probably don’t own anything that came from a 3-D printer.”

On hand for today’s announcement was Marty Markowitz, mayor of Brooklyn, who grudgingly added that MakerBot was throwing Manhattan (“that lesser borough”) a bone by opening up its first store there. Of Brooklyn-based MakerBot, though, Markowitz was enthusiastic in a way only a 60-something Brooklyn native could be. “MakerBot’s got Brooklyn attitude,” he said. “Well, these days they call it swagger.”

The Replicator 2 is available today, over on MakerBot’s online store, while the 2X will arrive in early 2013.

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10 Comments

  • Peter Last

    The whole micron per inch thing is just a mistake. The actual website for the product indicates it has a layer resolution of 100 microns, meaning each printed layer can be as thin as 100 microns. That sounds pretty good for a fairly cheap 3-D printer assembly.

  • Brian Jobe

    Agreed.  They are offering a good printer at a great price and their software is easy to use.  This will get a lot more people using this technology.  The printers I mentioned in my previous post can be 5-10 x the cost of what they are offering.

  • Brian Jobe

    Microns per inch is obviously not a valid figure.  In 3D printing, 100 micron would refer to the thickness of the layer that is being printed.  Thinner layers are capable of making more intricate or highly detailed parts and ensure smooth surfaces.  Companies like Objet are manufacturing highly accurate 3D printers with layers as thin as 16 micron.  Another company to check out if you are interested in 3D printing is ExOne, they print in stainless steel.

  • Heracles Papatheodorou

     Typical, nonsense, press release mambo-jumbo written by clueless marketeers.
    An inch is precisely 25400 microns, no more, no less, as there's 100 cm per meter; all are units of length.

  • W. Brian Mansell

    What are you talking about? You can't increase resolution by packing in more microns per inch! A micron is a specific unit of measure! Look at layers per centimeter or microns per layer... unless you'd like to talk about increasing the number of grams in a pound.